Park commissioners OK beer tent


Scott Hunter

CAPRD commissioners Mike Bjorklund and Phil Hansen inspect new concrete work at the lower ball field at North Dam Park Monday after their meeting.

Park commissioners Monday night barely passed a motion to allow the chamber of commerce to hold another beer garden event at North Dam Park next month.

Commissioners expressed frustration with learning of the planned event in the newspaper before actually getting a request from the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I'd like to again apologize that we ‘jumped the gun’ on announcing that there would be a beer tent during Harvest Fest before clearling it with you,” chamber Manager Peggy Nevsimal explained in an Aug. 7 email to CAPRD Chairman Phil Hansen. “We did indeed feel that the contract we signed with Parks & Rec before Colorama was the contract for all events the Chamber would hold in North Dam Park.”

Commissioner Mike Bjorklund said he didn’t see how the earlier contract could be interpreted that way.

“It just seems like if the chamber is going to plan something like this, they need to come to us … four months or even two months ahead of time, so we have time to discuss it,” he said.

Bjorklund said he also doesn’t think the concept meshes with the park district’s mission. “I don’t know that we want to be the go-to place for beer gardens,” he said.

Hansen and Commissioner Clarice Kuehne voted to allow the chamber’s beer tent. Along with a “proxy” vote emailed by Commissioner Nate Piturachsatit, the measure passed, contingent on the Grand Coulee City Council’s approval.

Hansen said he would relay the message that earlier notice is needed.

In other business: Commissioners agreed to renew their commission’s push for a local wellness center, a project they have been pursuing jointly with the hospital district.

Commissioners also vowed to finish up the district’s comprehensive plan and submit a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation requesting an extension for already approved spending through a Title 28 grant, which paid for improvements at North Dam Park.

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